Speaking with Strangers

A Memoir
Author(s): Mary Cantwell
Original Publish Date: Apr 28, 1998
Product Number: EB00031329
Released: Apr 28, 1998
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780547561370
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From the author of American Girl, a "profoundly moving" memoir of single motherhood, loneliness, and finding one's way home (The New York Times). After growing up in a small New England town and achieving professional success working for Manhattan fashion magazines, Mary Cantwell finds herself personally bereft. Having made it through to the other side of a painful divorce, she is faced with the challenge of raising two daughters alone and seizes any opportunity to leave it all behind—if only for a while. Taking on travel assignments that send her around the world, Cantwell recounts her experiences in vivid detail as she makes fleeting connections with strangers in all walks of life. But above all, she craves the intimacy she has lost—both in the death of her marriage and that of her beloved father. Eventually, Cantwell finds passion in an intense and tumultuous affair with a famous writer she refers to only as "the balding man." But as time goes on, she realizes she must face her responsibilities at home. In this unflinching account of a trying time in a woman's life, Cantwell "writes with a breathless intensity about love affairs and friendships, impulsive decisions and equally sudden fits of repentance" (People). "Anyone who has read Cantwell's earlier memoirs, American Girl (1992) and Manhattan When I Was Young (1995), knows her voice is as tough, as golden, as graceful as forsythia taking hold in a city backyard. . . . A dark, heady wine of a book; every sip is memorable and complex." —Booklist